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The New Paper
Sep 5, 2022
A nature lover came face to face with an endangered dusky langur at a toilet in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve recently.
Spencer Yau shared his encounter with the primate on Facebook group Singapore Wildlife Sightings.
He told Mothership that on Aug 30 in the afternoon, he first saw two langurs loafing around in the trees at the edge of the forest behind the toilet.
One of them descended and decided to enter the female toilet, which was empty. It made a quick visit to the male toilet before circling back.
"It sat in the sink and looked at the mirror, then started licking its reflection," said Yau.
In a video taken by Yau, the langur's eyes scan the toilet before it leans into the mirror to get a better view.
He described the primate as being "very relaxed" and looking "really bored", not at all bothered by him and his friend's presence.
Yau said he was delighted to have encountered Singapore's dusky langurs. Though he has seen them in Malaysia, it was not at such close proximity.
However, as he reflected about how these two male langurs are likely the only members of their species in Singapore, he said "it feels downright sad".
These shy monkeys are not native to Singapore, but can be found in Peninsular Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand.
It is understood that three individuals had found their way to Singapore from Malaysia sometime in 2019.
In 2020, primate researcher Andie Ang told The Straits Times that one of them had not been seen since September 2019, postulating that it could have died or left the group.
Now, two of them, both males, are sometimes spotted in various parts of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
If you encounter the langurs, Ang advises members of the public to keep a respectful distance of at least five metres.
Flash photography should be avoided as it may scare them. And, as with any wildlife, do not feed them as they would become used to the presence of humans.